Author Archives: ducky

About ducky

I'm a computer programmer professionally, currently working on mapping applications. I have been interested non-professionally for a long time in the effect on society on advances in communications technology -- things like writing, vowels, spaces between words, paper, etc.

Latin Carolingian Reforms — ~782 AD, Germany

Emperor Charlemagne apparently tried to learn how to read and write, but with poor success.  Probably part of his difficulty was that he had to spend a bunch of time conquering countries, part of the difficulty was that he started … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, government-mandated, Rating: 5 "Whoa!!" | Leave a comment

Ogham – 300 AD, Ireland

Ogham is a runic script mostly used in Ireland, but to a lesser extent in the northern island of Britain.  While the earliest provable use dates from the 4th century AD, there are linguistic clues that it is older: there … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, probably first in its area, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | Leave a comment

Old Hungarian — 600? AD, Hungary

Hungary, despite being solidly in Europe, has had a long history of trade with and conquest by Central Asian peoples.  It is not entirely clear where Hungarians came from — or more specifically, where the people who brought the Hungarian … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, now ceremonial, probably first in its area, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | 2 Comments

Orkhon — ~700 AD, Mongolia

Orkhon is also called Old Turkic or Göktürk script.  It was used mostly in Mongolia and Western China, but there are dialects that were used in Siberia (Yenisei) and Kazakstan. Orkhon is sometimes called Turkic Runes because of  their angular … Continue reading

Posted in Abjad, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | 2 Comments

Younger Futhark — 800 AD, Scandinavia

Elder Futhark evolved into Younger Futhark, with the transition happening between 650 AD and 800 AD.  Younger Futhark was most different from Elder Futhark in the number of characters: Younger Futhark had only two-thirds as many letters as Elder Futhark.  … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, Evolved slowly from parent, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!" | Leave a comment

Elder Futhark — 160 AD, Denmark

Elder Futhark, an early runic script, was definitely used in 160AD in Denmark.  Based on linguistic clues, some people think that it is much older. One of the clues cited is that it is written both left-to-right and right-to-left, like … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, first in its area, Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!", technology influenced | 3 Comments

Gyaru-moji — 2000 AD?, Japan

Gyaru-moji is sort of like a Japanese Leet: a variant orthography for Japanese.  Unlike Leet, which was developed in the predominantly male hacker culture, Gyaru-moju (which means “girl characters”) appears to have been developed by schoolgirls.  In both cases, by … Continue reading

Posted in Logograms, private or secret, Rating: 5 "Whoa!!", significant female influence, Syllabaries | Leave a comment

Leet — ~1980 AD, USA

Leet, also known as “1337” is a writing system developed for the English language which gains some of its value in being difficult to understand — but not too difficult.  It is in some respects a code-substitution cipher, where glyphs … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, private or secret, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | 1 Comment

Gond — 2010 AD, India

It is not very common for someone to create a new script.  Cherokee, Ol Chiki, Pin Cin Hau logograms, Gurmukhi, Hangul are just a few of the scripts which we know were created or invented more-or-less from scratch. However, in … Continue reading

Posted in Abugida, inventor known, Rating: 2 "Not all that interesting", significant female influence | 1 Comment

Tolong Siki — 1999 AD, India

Tolong Siki was developed rather recently for the Kurukh spoken language.  Previously, Devanagari was used (and is still used in large part a decade later). Tolong Siki is one of the few languages that was created from scratch collaboratively that … Continue reading

Posted in Abugida, National pride, now ceremonial, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | Leave a comment